[Taxacom] Nomenclatural availability of preliminary electronic versions of taxonomic papers

John Noyes j.noyes at nhm.ac.uk
Mon Oct 19 06:02:51 CDT 2015


Oops, correction.

The UCD contains 0.5m not 0.5bn records! Bad slip of the mind. But I bet that impressed you.


John Noyes
Scientific Associate
Department of Life Sciences
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road
South Kensington
London SW7 5BD 
jsn at nhm.ac.uk
Tel.: +44 (0) 207 942 5594
Fax.: +44 (0) 207 942 5229

Universal Chalcidoidea Database (everything you wanted to know about chalcidoids and more):

-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Pyle [mailto:pylediver at gmail.com] On Behalf Of Richard Pyle
Sent: 16 October 2015 23:46
To: 'Scott Thomson'
Cc: 'Roderic Page'; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu; John Noyes
Subject: RE: [Taxacom] Nomenclatural availability of preliminary electronic versions of taxonomic papers

Thanks, Scott.  Just a few comments:

> Also some poor group is going to have to register and set in place 
> every previously described species (about 2 million I believe) in 
> whatever is the accepted method.

Agreed -- this is a huge challenge.  But already, even with the comparatively feeble ZooBank system, the retrospective registration of content is coming along swimmingly. Many of the names are already cleanly captured electronically in nomenclators, so I suspect many of the legacy names will be in place by the time the 5th Edition of the Code goes into effect.

> On a practical side your also going to need one awesome server and 
> guaranteed funds to keep it running.
> Your not going to store the data for some 7 - 8 million species on a 
> university server or in cloud space.

Actually, the total content (including full literature citations, etc.) for 7-8 million taxon names is relatively trivial by today's standards.  I doubt the database would exceed more than a few tens of GB in size.  I am working on a database with over a billion records, and it tips the scales at half a terabyte.  My laptop has 7TB of storage space, and our Museum has much, much more.  Compared to the needs of other big data initiatives, we're rather tiny.

> Also on this, anyone thought of putting into a future version of the 
> code an objective for the future?

I think the difficulty with this approach is that the future is notoriously difficult to predict -- particularly in terms of time tables.  I think the Code is more manageable when it introduces a new date only when a new edition of the Code goes into effect.

> With major changes, particularly on the internet, it is better to 
> alpha test (in house), beta test (selected public testing) open beta 
> (anyone can try it) then release and in that order.

For what it's worth, the alpha version of ZooBank (long before it was called that) was tested and developed in-house from about 1998 through 2008.  The Open Beta was launched on 1 January 2008, and subjected to public use and testing for 4 years.  The Code-mandated version was released in September 2012. There will almost certainly be another major version of it to coincide with the 5th Edition of the Code going into effect (if not sooner).


More information about the Taxacom mailing list